So I got to try out my cousin’s Canon EF to Nikon F Ai adapter. (Yes such a thing exists on Amazon) A little bit of history, before the advent of digital mirrorless cameras, it was impossible to put a Canon EF lens on a Nikon F mount camera due to the Nikon’s longer flange distance. Nikon on other brands was always easier, just like the 50mm 1.4 ai-s that I’ve used on my Canons for oh 10 plus years now. Dummy adapters can be found for cheap, but this one is interesting in that it has corrective glass on the inside, similar to some adapters released way back in the day. The glass allows one to use Canon EF lenses on Nikon DSLR’s, but as you’ll soon see, not without difficulty of use, quality degradation and more cropping in on the FOV. But hey this combo never existed before in the past and I like variety and options when it comes to my photo gear.
Here’s what I managed to get in the short afternoon I had to play around with it. First some product shots.
The EF-AI adapter again has glass on the inside and depending on the camera can fit a bit loose. It’s a bit of a guess putting it on the D600 in terms of locking it in, and the tiny screw is a cause for concern for the Canon lens mounted on it. (And yes a lens did accidentally pop off the camera, so always hold these frankencombos with proper care)
This is the adapter surrounded by a few of the other random adapters that I have lying around. To be honest most are just to scratch the itch of, hmm I wonder what that lens looks like on that camera.
Legend of the 7 rings. 🙂 Taken with a crazy Cokin star filter that I swear I keep on forgetting to keep in my walkaround bag.
You can even treat this like a manual Nikon lens and give it a focal length and aperture in the menu, for helping the camera and you out with the metering.
So here’s the setup: an old Canon EF 35mm 1.4L on a Nikon D600. Again, this combo never really existed before. Sure it’s easy to do on mirrorless of all sorts of makes, but this one is the odd amalgamation, like the comic book crossover that was a dream when I was younger. A few caveats:
-The EF-AI adapter crops in a bit. I didn’t measure it exactly, but to my eye a 35mm becomes a bit like at 40-42mm at the very least.
-My Canon 35mm 1.4 is really beat up and super blurry wide open. There might be something wrong with it, but it seems to be okay from 2.8 onward on my native Canon bodies. Problem shooting like this of course is that you have to shoot this lens wide open.
-and of course manual focus. Canon and Nikon focuses opposite from one another, so one is going to be considered backward depending on what you’re used to. Live view on the D600 helps out tremendously.
So what was an already blurry Canon lens that you can’t/shouldn’t use wide open, becomes even more lo-fi with the glass adapter. Shrunken down and sharpened for my blog post is somewhat okay, but full size on my monitor, I don’t think many would consider the images usable for real work stuff. But that’s okay since these are my off day goofing off photo combos!
However, things take a surprisingly nice turn when the Canon EF 100mm 2.8 IS macro is mounted on the adapter. It’s actually still very sharp and usable. As much as I praise the Nikon 105mm 2.8 VR Micro, I have to give the edge to the Canon version for sure. (But both are great! Just buy into whatever system you have and be content!)
Here’s an example of the Canon macro and a 100% crop. The glass in the adapter isn’t that much of an image quality penalty and the FOV crop actually helps out some shots as well, it’s kinda like how macro lenses love both FF and APS-C sensors.
For lunch I went back to the 35mm combo and boy does its flaws show up wide open in bright daylight on this adapter. Expensive imaging equipment quickly turns in a lo-fi Holga look.
There’s a great community fridge in Clarkston if anyone you know needs that type of assistance. It would also be great if cities everywhere had things like that for items like “ugly” vegetables that wouldn’t pass the beauty pageant at places like Publix or Walmart.
The veiling and smearing of this Canon glass is seriously like the plastic Holga lens I also have for Micro 4/3 mount. Maybe I’ll do a comparison one day.
Oh for comparison, here’s what the Canon EF 35mm 1.4 looks like on a Sony A7. Obviously no crop, but again it’s a dummy adapter so wide open, and it’s still not the clarity I expect from my Nikon comparable lenses.
Bonus! There’s also such a thing as a Pentax to Nikon adapter! From the same company and also with the same in-glass design. I really like the look of Pentax 50mm f2 and think it might even be more unique than the Nikons. But that comparison will have to wait for another day. Sorry the sample pictures aren’t my usual portraits, that too will hopefully come at a later date.